KCS Issues Sustainability Report
The “For the Long Haul” report (download below) follows the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) standards for disclosing governance, economic, social and environment topics, according to KCS. Additionally, it is in alignment with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) frameworks, which “provide for the disclosure of measurable data and specific information related to sustainability.”
Among the report’s highlights, by key area:
• Delivering prosperity: In 2020, KCS spent $907 million on goods and services—such as track contractors/materials, fuel, locomotive/car materials, and information technology consultants and services—“driving the economy during the COVID-19 crisis.” The Class I railroad reported $39 million in “total diverse supplier spend.” It also transported nearly 2.2 million carloads/units.
• Valuing people: KCS reported that in 2020, it improved by 27% its U.S. and Mexico consolidated frequency rate of reportable workplace injuries and illnesses. Also, KCS President and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer held 24 diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) roundtable sessions across the U.S. and Mexico with more than 200 participants. The forums “provided employees a space to share their views” and opportunities for improvement.
“Amidst the pandemic, we were reminded that there is no place in our world for racism,” Ottensmeyer noted in the report. “Society’s urgent need to address racial and social inequities intensified crucial conversations we had already been having about inclusion and diversity at KCS. We facilitated constructive discussions around employee development, outreach and equality in our workforce, and designed programs to help build self-awareness to overcome our biases. We still have much work to do, but we are resolutely heading in the right direction.”
• Protecting the planet: KCS partnered with the Science Based Target Initiative to set a carbon reduction target, committing to reducing its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions per million gross ton-miles by at least 42% by 2034, from a 2019 base year. In addition, the railroad said it avoided the use of 21.2 million gallons of diesel fuel; this is an additional nearly 7 million gallons avoided compared with 2019, due to the implementation of fuel-efficient technologies, such as Wabtec’s Trip Optimizer, SmartHPT, and excessive idle reduction technologies like Auto Engine Stop/Start.
“With the unprecedented challenges of 2020, KCS remains steadfast in our commitment to responsible business practices and maintaining strong relationships with our stakeholders,” Ottensmeyer said. “We are proud to share our 2020 sustainability report, which demonstrates our focus and commitment to safety, environmental stewardship, and employee engagement.”